Author Archives for Jess @ You, Me & B

About Jess @ You, Me & B

I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 – homeschooling. We don’t have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life.

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo was the perfect dish for day 5 of being snowed in!

File Jan 26, 4 41 49 PM

This is how my pot of Damn Delicious’ Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo turned out.

I found Damn Delicious’ recipe for a lightened up version of Chicken Broccoli Alfredo over the weekend. We’ve been snowed in since Friday, but I had all the ingredients on hand (thankfully), so I made it for lunch today. Fabulous! The lighter sauce (all cream in other recipes but part milk and part chicken stock in this one) was just as flavorful and satisfying as the the full fat version, without the food coma afterwards. The recipe says it’s 4 servings, but this could totally feed a family of 6, IMO. You want to bulk it up, add a salad and a loaf of crusty bread. This recipe is dinner party worthy!

You know me, I rarely follow a recipe to the “T”, and this was no exception:

  • I didn’t have rotini, so I used penne
  • Instead of 2 chicken breasts, I used 5, small boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Wegmans Basting Oil instead of olive oil
  • I don’t buy unsalted butter, so I used salted
  • And I added more Parmesan cheese (but I’m not willing to admit to how much more)

I highly recommend this dish and am adding it to our dinner rotation!

 

Thrifty Thursday: Creating Costumes from the Thrift Store

I know, I know! I’ve done a Thrifty Thursday post about the thrift store before. However, I recently was put in the position to make 3 Star Wars costumes for my son, and I couldn’t have done it without my favorite thrift store. Plus, I’m really proud of how well I did under pressure. So, bear with me.

My son was in a Star Wars performance in December. His troupe performed three scenes from Episode IV: A New Hope: the trash compactor, Luke & Leah escaping Stormtroopers by swinging over an abyss, and fighting their way to the Millennium Falcon to escape the Death Star while watching Darth Vader kill Ben Kenobi. B had the rolls of Han Solo (my favorite character out of all 7 movies), a stormtrooper and Ben Kenobi.

After the first meeting when he told me he had 3 parts, I said, “I was prepared to come up with one costume, but three? OK, we’ve got time to try and put these together.” B assured me that the teacher had all the costumes and we didn’t have to provide anything. “Are you sure,” I asked, to which he emphatically said, “Yes.”

Several weeks go by and the day before B’s performance was payday – my run errands, fill the gas tanks and buy groceries day. By mid-afternoon, I had a nagging feeling about the costumes.

Me: “Are you sure that your teacher will be providing everything you need for all 3 of your costumes?”
B: “OH! I forgot to tell you after class last week! Yeah, he thought he had costumes for me but he doesn’t.”
Me (*Blink. Blink, blink. deep breath*): So, you’re telling me that I have to come up with costumes for Han Solo, a stormtrooper and Ben Kenobi with robe, with 21 hours left until your performance?!”
B (Eyes slowly getting as big as saucers as that reality sinks in.): No. No, Ma. It’s my fault. You don’t have to come up with anything! I’ll figure something out. Don’t worry.
Me: No. I can do this! Get in the car!

And off to my favorite thrift store we went! I bought 2 things – a white, mens, long-sleeved shirt and a brown, decorative, womens sweater. Total: $3. (I also found a Ralph Lauren blazer in B’s size, excellent condition, on the $1 rack! I had to buy it.) I found nothing that would work for Ben Kenobi’s hooded robe, but I did find white “Joey Buttafuoco” pants that were white with a black elastic waistband and black trim on the pockets. The white shirt would work as a top for both Han Solo and a stormtrooper and the pants were a little too big for B, so they’d be easy to take on and off over his jeans to switch between the 2 characters. After looking disgustedly at the white pants, however, B decided he didn’t think there’d be enough time for such a “complicated” wardrobe change and would stick to his jeans. ;o)

The white shirt just needed to be washed. I cut the arms off the womens decorative brown sweater, turned it inside out and had Han Solo’s vest. An old cap gun holster was dug out of a toy bin in the bowels of the basement. Han Solo done!

Photo Jan 21, 9 45 40 PM

 

 

Party City was all out of Stormtrooper masks, but I found a free printable online and printed it out on card stock. I cut it out, cut out the eye holes and used clear packaging tape to attach the mask to B’s favorite sunglasses: they are white and wrap-around. Stormtrooper done!

Photo Jan 21, 9 47 31 PM

I walked around the house, looking for something to make Ben Kenobi’s robe and my eyes fell on the heavy, room-darkening curtain we hang at the back door. It’s very drafty at that door and the curtain keeps the cold air out and the heat in. Perfect! I went down to the basement and got the other curtain (bought them as a pair) and draped it over B to get inspiration. I realized I needed something to pinch off the hood of the robe, but the small rubber bands we had would likely break when he put the robe on. So, I used Hickies, these really cool fasteners that B has on his sneakers. Two of them were hooked together about a quarter of the way down. In addition to the robe, I offered to make B one of the felt Jedi uniforms to go under it, like I made for his Jedi Training Academy Birthday Party, but he declined, once again siting time constraints on costume changes. (Evidently Han Solo & Ben Kenobi were in the same scene!). He got one of his lightsabers from the garage and…Ben Kenobi done!

Photo Jan 21, 8 39 31 PM

Even if PartyCity had mens Star Wars costumes in stock (or if I’d known weeks earlier that I needed them and ordered them online), I would have spent $39.99 on the Han Solo costume, $4.99 for a stormtrooper mask (or $49.99 for the whole costume) and $19.99 for a robe. But I spent $3 at the thrift store. THAT, plus the fact I did it all in less than 2 hours, is what makes this a great Thrifty Thursday post. ;o)

Top 10 Posts of 2015

I know, I know: I haven’t been very active on the blog this year. My brother even contacted me to complain I didn’t do a #ThriftyThursday post this month! :-O As busy as this year has been for us, out socializing and such, I decided to be more present with my guys and focus on Christmas related chores this month. But Thrifty Thursday will resume in January!

Before we say goodbye to 2015, I decided to discover which blog posts were viewed the most this year. The #1 post blew all the others away! It’s views were more than 6 times the other top 9 posts combined!  Interestingly, none of the top 10 posts viewed in 2015 were actually written in 2015. So without further ado, here they are:

TOP 10 POSTS VIEWED ON YOU, ME & B IN 2015

10. My Copycat of Chicken Flautas from Costco (2014)
 9. Awesome Transformer Birthday Party under $80 (2014)
 8. DIY LEGO Birthday Cake (2011)
 7. Tied: Best Way to Reheat Pizza in the Microwave (2014) & “Our Job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are are worthy.” Thomas Merton (2014)
 5. President in a Bag – George Washington (2013)
4. DIY Sock Monkey Costume – Pictorial Instructions (2011)
3. DIY Star Wars Death Star Birthday Cake (2011)
2. How I Threw a LEGO Building Birthday Party for 8 Boys for Less Than $85 (2011)
1. Easy-Peasy Pork Tenderloin in a Pressure Cooker (2013)

I have no idea what next year will bring. However, I’m grateful for every single one of you who have stopped by to read something I wrote. Happy New Year and blessings to you all in 2016!

Thrifty Thursday: Saving of Keurig K-Cups

No matter what brand nor type of pod you use for your Keurig coffeemaker, the costs can really add up! I received this money-saving tip from my father-in-law; it’s how he and my mother-in-law make their coffee at home and now, so do we.

We use each K-cup twice! The hubs likes a bold roast and I prefer a weaker blend. Instead of buying two different kinds of pods, we just buy the bold roast he likes. He makes his coffee with a new K-cup and then I’ll reuse it for a weaker brew that suits my palate.

I don’t drink as much coffee as the hubs. However, if I drank a cup per day like he does, we’d save 50% on the cost of K-cups!

The Truth About Telling One’s Truth

There seems to be a little confusion about what it means to “Stand in My Truth”, “Tell My Truth” or “Share My Truth”. This confusion regards the smallest, yet most important, word in these phrases: MY.

That little word refers to the writer/speaker/stander alone. That little word means that the truth I’m telling, sharing or standing in must be mine and mine alone. It’s all about me, my experiences, my beliefs.

My truth cannot be about anything/anyone else, any group or organization with which I am not a part of nor in which I am not personally involved.

Let me give you some examples of what can and cannot be My Truth:

I am a woman. ✔️

Men are pigs. ❌

Pizza is my favorite food. ✔️

I’m allergic to olive oil, therefore olive oil is a bad food, in my opinion.❌

I am not a fan of professional football.✔️

I believe that the Dallas Cowboys are wimps. ❌

I picked Papa Johns over Dominos in the taste test because Papa Johns’ pizza tasted better to me. ✔️

Dominos pizza taste better than Papa Johns and if you don’t agree, you’re a moron. ❌

The statements followed by a ✔️ can be considered my truths. The statements followed by an ❌ can not. Even if I believed the statements marked with the ❌, they still could not be my truths because they are not about me. I am not a man, a pig, olive oil, a Dallas Cowboy player nor Dominos Pizza. Even though I used the words, “in my opinion,” and, “I believe,” I am not referring to myself. I am referring to things and people of which I am not.

“My Truth” has nothing to do with, and cannot have anything to do with, my opinion of others’ actions, beliefs nor (pizza) preferences.

The Truth

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